On February 26th, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) launched new interim resources to help employers prepare for and respond to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.   The new guidance addresses recommended best practices for preventing the spread of illness in the workplace and planning for how to address any known or suspected cases among employees.

The agency’s recommendations include the following fundamental steps:

  • Actively encourage sick employees to stay home
  • Separate sick employees
  • Emphasize staying home when sick, respiratory etiquette and hand hygiene by all employees
  • Perform routine environmental cleaning with products known to be effective
  • Advise employees before traveling to take certain steps
  • Keep your workers informed about known or suspected cases, but don’t violate medical privacy laws

Additionally, the guidance provides tips and resources for creating a comprehensive workplace response plan that includes temporary adjustment of workplace policies, flexible scheduling (including telecommuting), and social distancing.

The full guidance is available at the following link: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/guidance-business-response.html